NORWICH – The new Albany will not rescue upstate New York, political expert David Shaffer told an audience of more than 100 Friday morning at the Chenango County Chamber of Commerce’s economic forecast breakfast. Rather, Shaffer said the people of Chenango County will have to save themselves.
“Will the new Albany rescue the upstate economy?” asked Shaffer, the president of the Public Policy Institute in Albany, who responded, “No.”
“We can’t count on elected officials to do it as a gift to us,” he said from the podium at the Canasawacta Country Club. “Things are moving in the right direction in Albany, but it’s as difficult to get things done as ever.”
Shaffer said New York state has taken quite a fall since its days as New Amsterdam when it was a Dutch Colony, where he said free enterprise and America’s entrepreneurial spirit was born.
“This is the real heart of the country,” he said.
He offered statistics depicting Chenango County in a trend of negative growth compared to other parts of the state and country – at nearly 30 percent behind U.S. as a whole. He attributes the economic slowdown to an overconfidence and an overabundance in state government that has existed since the 1950s. He specifically said high taxes and stiff regulations have crippled growth and driven younger generations elsewhere.